Gurney Takes First In Recycled Fashion Show


Mrs.Gurney after the fashion show celebrating her first place design.

Meera Forespring , Staff writer

These days our clothing is typically manufactured to be quick, cheap, and of course fall apart easily so that companies will have a constant stream of commercial consumers.

Many of these items end up having a deep impact on the environment, scraps of discarded clothing tossed into rubbish heaps after very little use.

What many people don’t see or take advantage of is the fact that those old fabrics can be used to make some actually quite fashionable attire.

CHS’s own librarian Susie Gurney finds this to be a extremely important.

“I believe in a handmade wardrobe and not purchasing cheap clothing that will end up in the landfill,” said Gurney.  

Gurney is a teacher at Portland Fashion Institute and teaches an advanced sewing class on Monday nights.

Over the summer, she entered a design contest for sustainability in fashion using recycled fabrics.

This was Gurney’s third time entering this contest having previously competed the past summer, and another time several years ago.

There were multiple categories for contestants, depending on varying skill levels.

Gurney entered into the professional category along with fourteen other contestants.

“I was given three fabrics, and some of them were just awful, but I was able to make a really cool outfit from of it,” said Gurney.

John Gurney
Mrs.Gurney’s son John walks the runway in her clothing design.

She created menswear using three different fabrics. Upholstery fabric taken from an old couch, a “horrible piece of green polyester,” and a scrap of chiffon fabric, she said.

“I was given two months to design, make the outfit and hire a model, who was my son.  After the event he actually got some modeling gigs which was pretty cool,” said Gurney.

The event was held at the Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland where designers had their models show off their creations on the runway to be judged and voted on to determine a winner.

Gurney won first place with her design.  

The outfit was auctioned off for a whopping $250.